For years, women have struggled to achieve equality in the workplace and with movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp in Hollywood, we've been making progress.

Here's a roundup of local and international female directors (new and old!) whose films serve as major inspo for women everywhere.

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Samantha Lee

Did You Know? She wrote the first draft of her debut film, Baka Bukas, in only 10 days.

Must-See Film: Baka Bukas (2016)

Joyce Bernal

Did You Know? Direk Joyce sometimes works as BOTH director and editor of her films.

Must-See Films: Everything About Her (2016), Last Night (2017)

Antoinette Jadaone

Did You Know? She worked as a continuity supervisor for Joyce Bernal before writing and directing her first full-length film, Six Degrees of Separation From Lilia Cuntapay.

Must-See Films: That Thing Called Tadhana (2014), Love You to the Stars and Back (2017), Never Not Love You (2018)

Hannah Espia

Did You Know? She's a big fan of Asian directors Shunji Iwai and Zhang Yimou.

Must-See Film: Transit (2013)

Marilou Diaz-Abaya

Did You Know? She founded the Marilou Díaz-Abaya Film Institute and Arts Center, a film school in the Philippines.

Must-See Films: Jose Rizal (1998), Muro Ami (1999)

Laurice Guillen

Did You Know? She helped found the Director's Guild of the Philippines and also served as CEO of the Film Development Council of the Philippines.


Must-See Films: Tanging Yaman (2001), American Adobo (2002), Santa Santita (2004)

Greta Gerwig

Did You Know? Greta is only the fifth woman (ever!) to be nominated for the best director Oscar.

Must-See Film: Lady Bird (2017)

Patty Jenkins

Did You Know? Patty is the first female director of an American studio superhero movie.

Must-See Films: Monster (2003), Wonder Woman (2017)

Sofia Coppola

Did You Know? Sofia made her film debut as an infant in her father Francis Ford Coppola's award-winning crime drama film, The Godfather.

Must-See Films: The Virgin Suicides (1999), Lost In Translation (2003), The Beguiled (2017)

Nora Ephron

Did You Know? Nora was one of the first successful female directors to make box office hits, most of which starred Meg Ryan.

Must-See Films: Sleepless in Seattle (1993), You've Got Mail (1998)

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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